amazon returns

Amazon has started flagging up “frequently returned” products on its marketplace. The label is being rolled out to encourage consumers to carefully check item descriptions and product reviews before purchasing. In addition to reducing returns, the move will help consumers identify misleading product descriptions and poor-quality products.

Amazon has a solid reputation for its free and no-quibble returns policy. However, in recent years, the eCommerce giant has also been fighting the scourge of fake reviews and counterfeit, low-quality, and deceptively marketed products. No matter how easy it is for consumers to return these products, it still represents a poor customer experience and accounts for significant costs and environmental impact.

The Problem with Marketplace Buyers

In many ways, Amazon is a victim of its own success. The online marketplace made it incredibly easy to add items to a cart and buy with a single click.

Unfortunately, marketplace buyers don’t have a great reputation for reading the full description.

Ask any eBay seller, and they will doubtless share countless stories about buyers asking questions about details clearly featured in the product description. Therefore, any move to encourage buyers to engage appropriately with a listing before buying is to be welcomed. However, some marketplace pundits are concerned that Amazon highlighting “frequently returned” items could be open to abuse and actually prompt more returns.

Competitive Abuse

Less-than-scrupulous Amazon sellers have long waged a war of attrition against their competitors by leaving fake negative reviews.

Could Amazon flagging up frequently returned items add to the problem and lead to competitors buying things to return them in the hope of potentially marking competitors’ listings as potentially shoddy?

While this might happen, it is a lot of work compared to writing a few negative reviews (please don’t do this).

Cleaning Up The Marketplace?

Amazon is evolving.

The company is increasingly seeking to work directly with brands. Big brands don’t want to compete with low-cost, low-quality competitors. So could flagging up frequently returned items, which will dramatically impact sales, persuade sellers that it’s just not worth listing poor-quality products or trying to game the system?  Or is this the first step towards highlighting and removing products that don’t meet customers’ expectations?

How Will eBay React?

It will be interesting to see how other marketplaces react to this new policy. In many ways, eBay already prioritises products with good descriptions, images, expedited delivery, and solid feedback in eBay search. So is there any real point in going one step further and highlighting frequently returned items? Probably not.

One thing is for sure, the days of poorly listed and poorly marketed products are ending on the major online marketplaces. And that has to be good news for everyone.

Learn More

Frooition works with leading Amazon sellers across every category, optimising their performance on the online marketplace.

Find out more about our Amazon Store Design services and see examples here: Amazon Store Design.

To learn more about how Frooition can help your business grow on Amazon, schedule a call with one of our design experts today.

 

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